Fluoride Action Network


Lead, cadmium, and fluoride were determined in 68 samples of market milk and about 115 infant formulas. Mean and median levels (ranges) in ng/g found for cow milk were as follows: lead, 1.12, 1.19 (0.01-2.48); cadmium, 0.10, 0.039 (0.005-0.74); andfluoride, 41, 40 (7-86). In canned, ready-to-use formulas, lead, cadmium, and fluoride levels averaged 37.3, 1.50, and 840 ng/g, respectively. In concentrated liquid formulas, the respective levels were 21, 3.54, and 600 ng/g. In powder formula concentrates, respective levels were 73.7, 6.78, and 1130 ng/g. On the basis of this study and literature data, lead levels in market milk exceeding 5 ng/g appeared to signify contamination of the milk either directly or via the cow. For formulas considered on an as-consumed basis, lead levels exceeding about 10-15 ng/g were attributed to contamination from either the can used to store the formula or the formula ingredients. Infant formulas in lead-free cans contained about 1.7 ng/g of lead on a ready-to-use basis. Milk-based formulas contained about 0.26 ng/g of cadmium on a ready-to-use basis. Soy-based or milk-free formulas contained about 8-15 times more cadmium than did milk-based formulas. Canadian and U.S. ready-to-use formulas contained 900 and 230 ng/g fluoride, respectively, and this difference was attributed to the level of fluoride in the processing water used by the manufacturers.